INTERVIEW

“ When Good Shoes play their danceable pop, they raise the roof, quite literally. At their recent single launch for debut floor filler, ‘Small Town Girl’, proceedings were called to a halt when the ceiling collapsed. “It was pretty mental. It’s a shame the club had to be closed early but it’s a good story […]

When Good Shoes play their danceable pop, they raise the roof, quite literally. At their recent single launch for debut floor filler, ‘Small Town Girl’, proceedings were called to a halt when the ceiling collapsed. “It was pretty mental. It’s a shame the club had to be closed early but it’s a good story to tell,” says front man Rhys. “People were singing the words back which was pretty crazy.

As far as the Good Shoes story goes, it is surprisingly simple for a band with so much early media attention. They’ve been a complete four piece for a whole seven months. In that time they’ve written more than enough material for a full LP and any young fan – of which there are plenty – who has visited the bands My Space site will profess that the quality matches that of the impressive quantity. Their collective age is 78; an unavoidable point that Rhys sites as nothing but a good thing, “I’m 20 and it seems really old to not be a teenager. I don’t think we’re that young. When you look at Arctic Monkeys and their all 18 or whatever. I think it’s the best time to start a band really.”

Unlike so many others, Rhys is positively upbeat concerning everything he talks about. As we catch up with the band in an M1 service station he asks as many questions as we fire at him. “I’m really looking forward to owning my own song on a record. It must have been the same thing for you guys when you got your first issue back?” he enthuses. “It’s really nice when something that is so near and close to your heart is being talked about and people like it.” And that is certainly the case where Good Shoes are currently concerned.

Zane Lowe has been amongst the band’s admiring public since grabbing a handful of early demos and failing to resist spinning them on air. Meanwhile, fellow Morden resident and Xfm DJ, John Kennedy, has gone one better, having invited the band onto his Exposure show to record a live session. “He’s sort of taken us under his wing like a surrogate kid or surrogate band as it were,” laughs Rhys. “We’ve been really lucky.”

Before bassist, Joel, and drummer, Tom, completed the Good Shoes line-up earlier this year, Rhys and guitarist, Steve, hopped on the live circuit as a duo. Since then, the last seven months have seen the band go from playing “the worst gig in the history of mankind” in Cambridge to supporting the likes of Art Brut, Kano, Shout Out Louds and Be Your Own Pet, often at the request of the headlining act. One of their earliest gigs was supporting good friends Mystery Jets at a secret Eel Pie Island party and it would seem that the Jets rigorous touring schedule is something that both bands have in common. Currently touring the country, not in a van, but in a car, Good Shoes have already confirmed a couple of weeks off from playing indie basements to support Tom Vek, before heading back out to collapse more ceilings.

But time is running out to see Good Shoes in such small and intimate venues. The capacity is only going to rise as A&Rs from major labels scrap over who’s going to sign one of the most fought after deals of the year. Clearly excited by the direction of his band, Rhys still keeps a modest and controlled view of what is to come. “We get given money by people,” he laughs. “It’s pretty odd but we’ve been told that’s how it works. If people want to hear our demos properly they give us the money to record them. It’s good not to get into debt.” So has anyone hinted at a contract? “XL are interested but so are some others. It’s early days though.”

Chalking up a list of favourite bands and influences, Good Shoes nod to their equally young and rising peers. Mystery Jets, Larkin Love, Long Blondes and Black Wire are amongst favourites and serve as a source to Good Shoes’ forward thinking pop music. Their sound is spikey, bouncy and perfectly infectious. Of it Rhys simply concludes, “We just see other bands and try to better what they’re doing but whilst still remaining ourselves.” And that is exactly what Good Shoes do.

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